There once was a single Universe. In this World Before a wizard arose, known as Zay Shantak, and in his travels he was cursed with immortality. Zay watched civilizations and races ebb and flow over millions of years. Zay survived the Seven Plagues of Sennacherib. When the Calamitous Roil ripped across the planet’s surface, Zay survived. When the Comet of Shulgi’imdraz struck, Zay survived the fiery blast and the ice age that followed. The Eight Heavens fell and the Eleven Hells collapsed. In time, Zay was the only living being remaining in the universe, even outliving mighty celestial cosmic entities. Zay was alone. He knew he would remain alone.
Unless it could all start again. Zay spent a thousand years traveling the planet, arranging the materials, gathering the energy to restart the universe. As he recounted all the world’s history, he worked the ritual together with duplicates of himself spread across the planet. There would soon be life again, even if it would be but an echo of this universe.
But something went wrong. Instead of a new universe, the new universe was fractured into 24 different echoes. Each new plane of existence has elements of the World Before, but twisted and recombined in myriad ways. The Age of the Second Gerosian Empire and its champions, the Elven Riders, split into their own plane. In this new plane, however, the Elven Riders struggled against the lich Lord Scythe who was separated from them by thousands of years in the World Before.
The twenty-four worlds are arranged in a regular pattern each plane borders eight others. Plane-jumpers call this structure “The Cosmic Web,” or “The Unfathomable Diamond,” or the “Octacube.”
Plane-jumpers describe “wobble” and “spin” effects that can cause difficulties even when traveling between bordering worlds . Planar travelers also describe time dilations and other temporal fluctuations as well.
Some plane-jumpers describe different planes as having different resonances or vibrations, and some have created their own classification systems.
D&D Cosmology Adjustments
- Many planes have a second, or more, layer, although these manifest in different ways. These “overtones” are ethereal planes, domains of the dead, Hell dimensions, Celestial homes, Faerie realms, dark Shadowfell reflections, or even Elemental Chaos. These take the place of the “Inner Planes” and “Outer Planes” in the Great Wheel cosmology. This means there is not just a single home of devils, for example.
*The Astral Expanse is a space between worlds, the medium in which the planes are imbedded. Nothing can survive here in physical form, although magic-users can project here psychically.
*There is also a world called the Silver Sea, home to Githyanki and Githzerai. The sea is riddled with colored pools that act as portals to other parts of the same plane, as well as portals to neighboring planes.
*A plane shift spell can only move from one world to a bordering world or another layer within the same world. The spell can be cast using higher-level spell slots allowing the caster to move two or three degrees of separation from their origin.
*A gate spell can go to any other plane familiar to the caster.
Known Worlds (to players)
- The Ruin Dogs world.
- The Elven Riders world
- The original Xe & Baldwyn World
- Eberron-like world. (The campaign Andy ran in NJ was set here.)
- The world of the Rekians, also known (unfairly) as Dark Ones or Beast-folk.
- Uninhabited world.
- Sentient squid civilization.
- Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican jungle world.
- Homeworld of the Pangols
- Homeworld of Githyanki